Why Elim?

How does this connect to Elim Christian Services? Elim is the birthplace and inspiration for The 5 Stages. People who work at and support Elim are participating in a “co-laboring” vision, that each person needs to be equipped to respond to God’s call on his or her life. The 5 Stages is just one of many resources provided by Elim Christian Services as a center of best practices.

What is the 5 Stages?

The 5 Stages is designed to help you change attitudes about disabilities. This entire site is provided to equip you to start conversations about disability issues, so that this mission will become a movement.

It’s a Journey

Every journey has a destination, but we don’t always get there at the same time, in the same way, or even using the same steps as everyone else. The 5 Stages was created so you could help others see where they are on the journey. Learn more about the 5 Stages by clicking here.

What People are Saying about the 5 Stages

The 5 stages has helped me to raise the awareness of the churches I work with. Also, it has helped me to develop goals about the attitudes we want to see in the members of the churches and to plan specifically to reach those goals.

– Eddy Paul Blas Perez, Church Outreach Coordinator, Tesoros de Dios - http://www.tesorosdedios.org

I have presented the 5 stages at College Church for Disability Ministry Sunday and then for the Disability Ministry as Mission course I have been teaching at Moody Bible Institute.  It has been well received and a very useful tool.

– Dawn Clark, STARS Ministry Coordinator, College Church of Wheaton - http://www.college-church.org/disabilities/

I really appreciate the caring and devotion that you have put into this great tool!

– Wendie Benton

The 5 Stages is always challenging us to keep pushing forward, to keep transforming our worldview, and to keep building the great Kingdom of God. When we implement a program that’s based on Care, the 5 Stages reminds us that care is not a one-way street – it’s a mutual ministry where people of all abilities, in genuine relationship, can co-labor together for the Kingdom.

– Vinnie Adams, Director of Special Needs Ministry & Campus Worship Leader, Faith Church (Dyer, Indiana) - http://www.faithchurchonline.org/connect/ministries/reflectors

The 5 Stages has helped remind me that everyone is on a journey in terms of their attitude towards people with disabilities. It has helped me to be able to be less judgmental, and focus on meeting people where they are at where that is in their journey. I have been able to use it as a teaching tool to educate, encourage and challenge others.

– Carolyn Buma

Thanks again for developing this tool  and now taking the time and effort to make it available, excellent, and helpful to many. Way to go!

– Beth Rinsema, Care Coordinator, Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church - http://elmhurstcrc.org/

“I give each of our new Team Members a copy of the 5 Stages during the “Spirituality and Disability” training that I lead in our new Team Member orientation. I have also shared it with all current Team Members (over 350) and have received positive responses. I have also shared it with other disability ministries that are a part of a coalition called the Lancaster Christian Council on Disabilities. Thanks for publishing this information into a concise and helpful document.”

– Milt Stoltzfus, Friendship Community (Lititz, Pennsylvania) - http://www.friendshipcommunity.net

Las Cinco Etapas en Nicaragua

Churches have many objections to doing disability ministry, including: We don’t have enough volunteers. We don’t have the money. We don’t have people with disabilities here. Wouldn’t they be happier in their own churches? And that’s just to name a few. You can find some other great “myths about disability ministry” in this post by […]

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What the Heidelberg Catechism is Missing

In 1563, two young men were charged with creating a question and answer synopsis of the Christian faith and its practice. The resulting Heidelberg Catechism has been used as a reliable companion to the Scriptures for over 450 years. The catechism aims to draw the believer’s attention to the crucial elements and questions of the […]

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An Opportunity Missed by Too Many Churches

Life with a Disability is Difficult and Lonely Life always includes tragedy. And tragedy can be a time of loneliness and deep despair. But when you are part of a church, that tragedy can become an opportunity. Tragedy and difficulty, whether temporary or long-term, is an opportunity for the church to truly be the church. […]

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Sheltered Workshops: Relic of the Past or Overlooked Option?

The 5 Stages is a resource developed by Elim Christian Services. Elim is a Christ-centered learning and sharing community dedicated to revealing the purpose and value of each person as a child of God. Elim has been in ministry for almost 70 years. Among its services for persons living with disabilities is a comprehensive day […]

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Beyond Serving “The Least of These”

Matthew 25:31-46 may be one of the most controversial passages in all of scripture. Jesus says to his disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory…he will separate the people one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-33 NIV). To the sheep Jesus gives the kingdom inheritance […]

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Use a Little G.L.U.E. to Help Your Church

I just don’t know HOW. This is the statement that I often hear when I speak with church leaders about including people who have disabilities. How do we move from pity to care, or from care to friendship? How do we move through the five stages of being ignorant of those with disabilities to becoming […]

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Lies the World Tells People with Disabilities

I am Disabled I have a disability. It’s a slight speech impediment as a result of damage to some nerve centers at the base of my brain. Only one vocal chord works, my tongue barely moves, and I have to work hard to manipulate my lips and teeth to form words. It has always been […]

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7 Signs That You (Or Your Church) Are Ignorant

As The 5 Stages has been presented and used by more and more churches and individuals, one of the most common questions we receive is: What does it look like when a church is at Stage 1 or 3? What’s the difference? I thought it might be helpful to offer some characteristics that you can […]

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There is no Asterisk

The concepts discussed in this blog and on this website are not new, but are sometimes received as though they are revolutionary. Yet there is nothing truly unique about these thoughts. And I’m not just talking about the fact that similar attitudinal structures have been developed by people like Jean Vanier and Bill Gaventa, though […]

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Did God Make Me This Way? (Part 2)

Two weeks ago, I posted a personal perspective on God’s purpose in disability. In it, I postulated that it is not a question of whether or not God made me this way (as a disabled person), but that He has a redemptive purpose in each life. I want to follow that up by sharing what […]

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